Why is it that we see such a strong disagreement today betweem Judaism and the Islamic faith. Why can't these two religions peacefully coexist in the world today? Is one religion or the other the major instigator of the problems they face?
We only have to look at the Book of Genesis in the bible to understand how this whole thing got started. This whole disagreement, believe it or not, is basically a disagreement between two sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, who both thought that they received the blessings of God as promised to their father. When Abraham was 75 years old we hear God giving him a message:
Genesis 12:1 - 3  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
First note that "Abram's" name was later changed to "Abraham" in Genesis 17:5. We see here that God has blessed Abraham and told him that out of him shall come a great nation. Abraham understood that for a great nation to come out of him he must have children, but at this point he did not. But more importantly is what God said in Verse 3: "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.".
Now Abraham was led by God into the land of Canaan:
Genesis 12:5 - 8  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.  And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.  And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
The land of Canaan is basically what we know today as modern Israel. Now Abraham was about 86 years old and he started to question God about him having children. He was trying to figure out who would be his heirs. He started to wonder if God was talking about someone else in his house, which included many who followed him, would be his heir:
Genesis 15:2 - 4  And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?  And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.  And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
So Abraham asked God if maybe his heir was Eliezer of Damascus since God had not, as of yet, given him and Sarah any children. Sarah, at this point, was around 76 years old and Abraham and Sarah were both really puzzled. But God let him know that "he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir".
Sarai, Abraham's wife, whose name is later changed by God to "Sarah" in Genesis Chapter 17, makes a decision that is a great part of our subject matter. She knows that God has made a promise to Abraham that he will be "exceeding fruitful". She also believes that since she is now about 76 years old that there shall be no children coming from her. Instead of believing in God's promise she decides to take matters into her own hands:
Genesis 16: 1 - 11  Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.  And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.  And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.  And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.  And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.  But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.  And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.  And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.  And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
So we see that Sarah, supposing she was unable to have children, gave her maid Hagar to her husband Abraham so that he might have children as God told him he would. Abraham and Hagar conceived a child. While still pregnant Hagar evidently started treating Sarah badly ... taunting or making fun of her since she was able to give Abraham a child and she wasn't.
Sarah told Abraham about the problem and he told her to deal with Hagar however she wanted. Sarah started to treat Hagar so badly that she finally fled. However an Angel of the Lord told Hagar to return to Abraham and Sarah and that she would have a son and she was to name him Ishmael. The same Angel of the Lord told Hagar "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude." So Hagar returned to Abraham and Sarah and we see her son Ishmael being born when Abraham was 86 years old:
Genesis 16:15-16  And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.  And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
Now Abraham, of course, believes at this point that Ishmael is his heir. However God has a different plan for who his heir will be and once again tells Abraham of the promise when he is 99 years old:
Genesis 17:1-9  And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.  And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.  And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,  As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.  Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee .  And I will make thee exceeding fruitful , and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.  And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.  And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.  And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
Abraham now immediately, once hearing this, still believes that Ishmael is his heir. But God lets him know that there is a new heir on the horizon:
Genesis 17:15-21  And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.  And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.  Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?  And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!  And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
So we see the two sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac, who is the father of Judism ... and Ishmael, who is the father of those that today are part of the Islamic faith. The basic disagreement that they are still fighting about today ... who really was the heir of God's promises.
The bible explains who the heir was ... but the children of Ishmael still feel that they are the heirs of God's promises and they are willing to die for their belief. But God made it plain who the heirs were ... and if the Islamic faith would understand that, which they won't since the bible is not their guide ... Israel and the world would live in peace.